A recent question from Allison on the BabyGoodBuys Facebook page reminded me that I’m not the only one who’s been wanting to hear readers’ thoughts on video baby monitors.
We bought a MobiCam Audio Video Baby Monitoring System ($109) just before Haiden, my oldest, turned one. The Amazon reviews are spotty, and I tend to agree with some of the negative points, since the audio feed intermittently goes out. That being said, the MobiCam worked well when I most needed it, but it doesn’t seem to be a product that lasts.
There have been many video baby monitors introduced to the market since I shopped for one. I’m listing some of the most popular ones below, but I really want to know, Do you have a video baby monitor? and Do you like it?
Here are some of the bestsellers:
The Summer Infant Day & Night handheld color video monitor is Amazon’s bestselling baby monitor, and the ranking includes audio-only devices! Priced at just under $140, this is in the middle range for video monitors. Amazon customer reviews give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
The Motorola Digital Video Monitor is the lowest-priced video monitor I found. At $85, this is definitely a good buy for the price. Amazon reviews average 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The Summer Infant Complete Coverage Color Video Monitor with LCD Screen and Handheld Unit is firmly the highest-priced baby monitor in the bestsellers category. List price is $300, Amazon’s sale price is currently $275. Amazon customer reviews average 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The Samsung Wireless Video Security Monitoring System looks like it’s the video baby monitor with the best reviews from customers. Granted, only six people have reviewed it, but you can take a look and see that they’re all positive (and a little surprised that a security camera functions so well as a baby monitor!). Priced at $175, this is a bit higher than other video monitors. Amazon customer reviews average 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The First Years Home & Away portable video monitor looks like it’s the newest to the market. It has a couple of great reviews and the great feature of being able to view the video on Skype! List price is $190, and Amazon has it priced at $144 right now.
Those are the standouts in the bestselling category. Here are a few other popular video baby monitors:
- Lorex LIVE snap Video Baby Monitor :: 3.5 stars :: was $400, NOW $129.99
- Levana BABYVIEW20 Digital Wireless Baby Monitor :: 3.5 stars :: was $340, NOW $150
- Levana Safe N’See Digital Video Baby Monitor :: 3.5 stars :: $159.99
- Motorola Digital Video Monitor w/ Room Temp Thermometer :: 4 stars :: was $200, NOW $169.94
- Summer Infant Best View Handheld Color Monitor w/ Screen :: 4 stars :: was $200, NOW $187.98
- Philips AVENT Digital Video Baby Monitor :: 3.5 stars :: was $220, NOW $169.99
- Levana ClearVu Digital Video Baby Monitor & Night Light :: 3.5 stars :: $140
- Summer Infant Day & Night Flat Screen Color Monitor w/ LCD Screen :: 3.5 stars :: was $200, NOW $179.99
- Mobicam DXR Digital Monitoring System :: 3.5 stars :: was $230, NOW $189.99
- Summer Infant Baby Touch Digital Color Monitor :: 4 out of 5 stars :: was $250, NOW $220.29
If you have one of these or a different video baby monitor, we want to know if you like it! Please leave a comment below if you want to answer one or more of the following questions:
Erin M says
We originally bought the sony babycall and I really liked it but came to a point where we really needed to see her so we bought the summer infant best view. I am mostly happy with it. The sony baby call has the voice activated mode that i loved. The monitor would tune out the white noise and be completely quiet unless she made a sound. The best view does not have this and i really really miss it. The volume you adjust on the menu screen and it does not go as low as I would like but I can live with all of those issues with it. The camera has pan and zoom which is very nice and I see it only being nicer as she gets older. I had originally thought hte video ones were a waste of money.. so wrong
I have the Motorola digital video monitor with room temperature thermometer. We don’t know anything else, but we LOVE it. The picture is crystal clear – we’ve never had problems with interference, and the sound is very clear as well. The things I dislike (but that obviously aren’t deal-breakers): the camera doesn’t come with an easy way to mount it (although it does have a screw hole in the bottom of it, like what you’d screw onto a tripod), the battery on the receiver end dies somewhat quickly over time, and the vox setting (where the camera/monitor sound are turned off unless there’s noise to be picked up) is pretty sensitive, so usually my daughter’s white noise machine will keep the receiver turning on and off (so we just don”t bother with vox and listen to her white noise machine all night). HOWEVER, we didn’t pay full price – I got it on woot for under $100 (worth every penny). If I were to actually spend $160-something, I’d probably look to see if I could get some of the downsides addressed in a different model. (FWIW, I’ve seen it on Amazon every once and awhile for closer to what I paid on woot – so it pays to be patient.)
Amanda Brantley says
I have the best view handheld by summer and ADORE it. Worth every penny even though I got it on sale. I LOVE that it can pan and zoom, some summer models don’t have that feature. We’ve had it for 2 years. After about 6 mos, the battery in the handheld started dying fast/not keeping charge for long, but we just had to replace the AA rechargeable batteries in it. SO worth the peace of mind by being able to see what my baby is doing, so I know if I need to go in.
I received a MobiCam as a shower gift off of my registry and while it mostly did it’s job for a while, we did not like it. The main reasons – 1) the base was hard to position to actually see my baby! Sitting it on the side of the crib did not work. 2) It used regular sized AA batteries and they ran out quickly! We bought rechargeables, but they usually wouldn’t last one full day and I felt like I was always recharging batteries. 3) There was CONSTANTLY interferrence on the screen. Awful.
When the MobiCam died (it didn’t even last 7 months), I bought the Summer Infant Slim and Secure model and we LOVE it! The reasons: 1) There is no interferrence. 2) It mounts pretty easily. 3) The battery in the receiver is built in (sort of like a cell phone battery), so when I plug it in at night, it recharges the battery and it will last for days.
I’ve had several people ask me about video monitors and I tell every one of them – if I could only take 5 baby items with me somewhere with my son, those video monitors would be on the list. We are vacationing this week and the monitors are right here with us! They are a must have in our house!
We have the Summer Infant Best View Handheld Color Monitor w/ Screen. The one you have listed looks a bit different than the one we bought a year and half ago. Perhaps they changed the look. We LOVE it! We haven’t had any problems with it. We take it on every trip that we go on – it’s very easy to set up and take down. Although mine does not have this, I do like the new features on other cameras where you can zoom in and move the camera.
I recieved the “Summer Infant Complete Coverage Color Video Monitor with LCD Screen and Handheld Unit” for my baby shower. I originally did not register for this because I thought I would never get any sleep but stare at the monitor the entire night. My mother-in-law, knowing me better than I thought I knew myself, got it for me insisting I would use it. And of course she was right. I absolutely love the video screen! I could not go a day without it now that I have it. I sleep so much better knowing at any time I can look at the screen and see exactly what my 6 month old son is doing and how he is sleeping. This helped greatly when he began rolling over and sleeping on his tummy. I can see exactly where his head is and if can still breathe.
There are, however, a couple of problems I have with this make & model. First off, the second “parent unit” which does sound only does not work at all. It is “staticky” (if thats even a word) no matter how far away or how close you are to the actual unit. In fact, we don’t even use this noise only one because the static becomes more of a hassle to try and listen through than actually help. The other problem I have is that the tv screen has to be close to the actual camera mounted by my sons crib. If we had a bigger house, this monitor would not work. Thankfully my sons room is right next to ours but as we have tried it in the living room and it will not get reception because it is too far away.
All in all this model has pros and cons but I highly suggest getting a video monitor over a noise only one!
Marybeth Hamilton says
Fabulous input, everyone! Thanks for sharing your experiences!
amy corinne says
We have the Levana Babyview20 and I like it a lot. We have had it for over a year and haven’t had any problems.
We originally had a MobiCam AV and it only lasted about 6 months. I definitely don’t recommend getting one of those.